The Centre has released more than Rs 516 billion (Rs 51,600 crore) to states under rural employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA till January 31 in financial year 2017-18, Rajya Sabha was informed on Monday.
In written reply to a question, Minister of State for Rural Development Ram Kripal Yadav said that the release of funds to states for the implementation of various projects under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was a continuous process.
"The central government is making funds available keeping in view the demand. The ministry has released Rs 516.169 billon as on January 31, 2018 to States/UTs for liquidating the pending liability of wage component and for running the programme during 2017-18," Yadav said.
In reply to another question, he informed the house that a sum of Rs 758.9 million has been paid as compensation towards delay in the payment of wages under MGNREGA, so far.
The delay in payment of wages are due to various implementation issues in states including inadequate staff, non-timely recording and reporting of attendance, wage list, public financial management system and others, he said.
Under MGNREGA, wage seekers are entitled to receive compensation at the rate of 0.05 per cent of the unpaid wages per day.
He added that various efforts were being made by the ministry to reduce the delay in the payment of wages to the workers, such as timely release of funds, payment through national electronic fund management system for direct payment of wages into workers' accounts.
He also informed that all wages under MGNREGA were not paid through Aadhaar-based payment system and those workers who do not have Aadhaar were paid electronically by transferring amount into their post office or bank accounts.